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THOMAS J. YOUNGBLOOD is a leader in Vernon as far as mercantile operations are concerned. He has the most extensive furniture establishment in the town, with a large and profitable trade branching out in all directions over Wilbarger county and even further. He has made this place his home and business center since 1888, so that he is really an old settler, and in business associations and social connections is well known and highly esteemed by his fellow citizens.

Mr. Youngblood was born at Berryville, Carroll county, Arkansas, February 20, 1857, being a son of Jeremiah and Elizabeth (Dunlap) Youngblood. His father was born in Illinois and sprang from the Youngblood stock of which Judge Francis Marion Youngblood, of Carbondale, that state, was such a prominent representative. Jeremiah Youngblood spent his active and useful career in various parts of the middle west. He went to Arkansas in an early day, and in 1862 moved from that state to Missouri, where he lived until 1866; then returned to Arkansas and remained until 1881, when he came to Texas to join his son Thomas in the general mercantile business at Chico; in the following year the business was moved to Alvord, in which town he died in 1886. His occupation previous to coming to Texas had been farming, and he was considered a successful and worthy citizen in all affairs. Mr. Youngblood s mother, Elizabeth Youngblood, was a native of Tennessee, was married in Missouri, and her death occurred in Arkansas in 1902.

Mr. Youngblood has from an early age been possessed of great natural talent for business affairs, and despite meager educational advantages during his youth he has always been found in the ranks of the aspiring, enterprising and finally successful men of this community. He lived at home for the first nineteen years of his life, that time being spent at the various places noted above. He came to Texas in 1876. He had been reared to farm life, but was ambitious to make a place for himself in the mercantile world, and in the fall of 1878 he was able to start on a small scale a general mercantile establishment at Chico, in Wise county. This business expanded rapidly, and in 1882 he moved it to Alvord in the same county, where, as mentioned above, his father joined him. The Youngblood merchandise establishment was carried on at Alvord until 1888, in which year Mr. Youngblood came to Vernon, which has proved his permanent location till the present time. On opening up in Vernon he discontinued the general features of his store and limited his goods to furniture, carpets and house furnishings, and in addition a high grade undertaking department. This house is now looked upon as the leading one in this part of the country, and it practically has no serious competition. Mr. Youngblood has been faithful to his adopted town through its adversity and prosperity, and has been rewarded by a large and permanent business. Since he came here he has seen five or six rival furniture houses start up and afterward fail or go out of business.

Mr. Youngblood has identified himself very closely with the public affairs of his county. For four years he served as county commissioner of Wilbarger county, and has been a member of the Vernon school board for a long time. He is likewise one of the foremost men in the Masonic fraternity at this place. He has held all the chairs in the blue lodge, the council, the chapter, and is now past commander of the local commandery of Knights Templar. While eminent commander he became a great favorite with the Masons on account of his ability in the work of initiation and other rites.

While a very young man, in Arkansas, Mr. Youngblood was married to Miss Mary C. Maxwell, a native of Missouri and now deceased. She was the mother of his oldest son, Seba O. Youngblood, who is now associated with his father in the furniture business. After coming to Texas Mr. Youngblood married at Alvord Emma Cochran, who is his present wife and is the mother of the following children: Mrs. Stella Kimberlin, Miss Dema May, Ollie T., Blanche, Elzie, Oleta and Juanita.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, p. 202.

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